A truck accident could occur when a big rig’s tire bursts suddenly. The shock associated with the incident could make your thinking difficult. What happens next after this mainly depends on the nature of the said accident. Also, what you do depends on the number of the parties involved and the injuries sustained after the blowout. If you sustain injuries, you could file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages and injuries sustained. As a result of the tire blowout, the accident might also involve significant property damages. For instance, big rig vehicles are well known for transporting goods to different places. Therefore, in a tire blowout, the cargo might fall, spreading all over the road and causing great property damage.
Many people think tire blowouts occur when the tire has too much pressure, akin to inflating a balloon and suddenly bursts. Although this might be true, tire manufacturers ensure the tires can handle the extra pressure. Instead, many tire blowouts occur as a result of little pressure. When you underinflate a tire, the rubber, fabric, and steel in the tire will flex under intense force. When these tire components keep on flexing, they will more likely weaken and create a blowout.
When you or your loved ones suffer injuries resulting from a big rig tire blowout, you stand a chance to receive compensation for the sustained damages and injuries. Speak with a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident to help you file a claim. You want to observe the steps discussed below after a truck tire blowout incident. Follow them and seek legal help from a well-skilled attorney to increase your chances of receiving compensation.
When a big rig tire blowout hits your car while driving, you want to pull over immediately. Alight the vehicle and check for possible damages. If the vehicle is damaged, call the police. Usually, after the truck drivers recognize they have caused an accident, they must pull and wait for the law enforcement officer to file a report. When there is a severe accident, ensure you or the injured passenger seek medical help.
Check for Any Injuries and Call for Emergency Services
After the accident, you first want to assess any injuries immediately after the dust settles. When you do not suffer severe injuries, you can assess yourself and check the passengers and the drivers of the involved crash. You might also offer first aid if you are skilled personnel. Do not assume you suffered no injuries because you did not experience any symptoms right after the crash.
Immediately after determining the number of people injured in the tire blowout accident, you need to call emergency services. When you cannot call by yourself, you might ask another person to do so. For example, call the eyewitnesses within and ask them to call 911 for emergency services. Follow the directions issued by the dispatcher and remain at the accident scene until the emergency services arrive.
After the police officers arrive at the accident scene, ensure you pick a copy of the police report. The police report will help you in the future as you will be seeking compensation. While the police will be carrying out their investigations, they will come to you and ask a few questions. Do not chase or abuse them! Also, avoid elaborating or exaggerating what happened. Never say you are sorry or even admit the liability.
Seek Medical Attention
When involved in a truck accident, you want to seek medical attention even if you are not severely injured. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better for your health. Therefore you want to call your friend or family member to drive you to an urgent health facility. You want to tell your doctor everywhere you feel any pain or symptoms, even if they seem minor. If you have pain in your back or neck or feel stiffness in those areas, you want to tell your doctor from the beginning.
When the injuries you suffer become more severe than soreness, bruising, or stiffness, the insurance company will look at your medical records to see when you started complaining of the injury. If you didn't report to w health care immediately, the insurance company would claim the injuries did not result from the accident, and they will not accept responsibility. It would be easier to demonstrate to the insurance company when you sustain minor injuries and report them the first time you visit a health facility. You will present medical records from the first day.
Document Your Damages
You might suffer severe injuries after a tire blowout or even shake when taking images of the accident scene. Ensure you take pictures and photos of the accident scene as soon as the accident occurs. Keep track of all paperwork and receipts related to the accident. It is recommended you discuss your damages with your attorney. The attorney will ensure you document all the necessary information. These documents may include:
- Dental bills.
- Doctor and hospital bills.
- Chiropractor bills.
- Insurance payment and coverage.
- Physical therapy.
- Replacement or repair receipts.
A picture is worth a thousand words. You cannot explain to the jury or adjuster how serious your injuries were or your vehicle was damaged in the accident without an image to support the claim. A picture you take at the accident scene is more crucial than obtaining the picture when the vehicle has been moved to the wrecker's yard. The best time to take the images is after facing a truck accident.
In addition, the pictures you take at the accident scene will show the exact traffic, lighting, and weather conditions. But when you suffer severe injuries and move immediately to seek medical attention, your attorney can go back to the accident scene the same day and take as many pictures as possible. Remember, the images of the injuries are the same, meaning even when you take photos later in the day, they will appear the same. Try to take the photos while fresh.
When the injuries involve bruising, take daily photos of the progression of your bruise. It's easy to see bruises. Take the photos of the bruising at the accident scene and the following days after seeking medical attention. A photo will indicate the extent of your injuries better than an explanation.
Speak to Your Insurance Provider
After leaving the accident scene, you want to speak to your insurance company. Do not assume or plan to contact them in the future. You might forget! Expect also to be contacted by the insurance provider of the other involved parties. Speak to them the way you did to the police officers, do not exaggerate or elaborate. Remember, the insurance agents can use what you say to sue you in court. To avoid putting yourself at risk, ensure you consult your attorney on what to say or not to say when the insurance agencies contact you.
Collect the Witness's Information
Collecting evidence from the eyewitness can be key later while seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. In many cases, the parties involved in the accident have little knowledge of how the accident occurred because the accidents occur unexpectedly. However, when neutral eyewitnesses support your version of events, the statement would be believable by the insurance adjuster, law enforcement officer, and the jury or judge when seeking compensation for the sustained injuries.
It is essential to identify any witnesses and ask them what they witnessed. Record down what they say and gather their details, including phone numbers, email addresses, names, and phone numbers. If the witness is afraid and doesn't know what to appear in the court in the future, speak to them about the importance of what they say.
Do Not Discuss the Accident with the Involved Parties
As a human being, you will more likely want to explain what happened during the accident. If the accident liability is clear, you might ask the other party why they hit you. In other cases, the liability might be a subject of debate. Under these cases, the other party might twist anything you say and use it against you in court.
Do not provide any harmful evidence to yourself by discussing what happened in the accident. Do not say anything after the accident to ensure you are on the safe side. Wait for the law enforcement officers to arrive at the accident scene and only discuss the matter with the law enforcement officers.
The law also requires you to exchange your contact information with the other involved drivers. Again, you want to ask the other party to provide their contact information. After the police arrive at the accident scene, they will compile a police report. It is not a crime to ask the police to issue you with a copy of the report. Keep the report well since it will help you seek compensation in the future.
Call a Truck Accident Attorney
Contact a truck accident attorney and discuss the matter with them if you were involved in the accident or if your loved one was involved. As the spouse or friend of the victim, you might find it challenging to follow all of the above steps. However, a truck accident attorney can help you work throughout the legal process.
A truck accident attorney will help you in several ways. One of the main functions of the attorney is to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve to cover your lost wages and medical bills. Remember, a truck accident might be complex as many parties are involved in the accident. For example, when determining the liability, the potential at-fault parties will include the tire manufacturer, truck company, and the truck driver. Also, trucks are associated with various federal regulations, so it's not only a matter of road rules.
Alternatively, do not attempt to Settle Your Claim. When you suffer severe injuries which require follow-up medical attention like MRI, or physical therapy, don't try to settle the claim alone. Consider hiring an experienced attorney to provide the legal help you deserve. The attorney will do everything possible to ensure you obtain compensation, usually more than what the insurance adjuster gives you. Also, the attorney will ensure your car is repaired, and you receive medical attention required. Lastly, the attorney will advise you on the various medical treatment options and ensure you document the accident.
Have Your Vehicle Appraised
Your vehicle might appear to have minor damage. You want to rush to the nearby body shop and have it repaired soon because repairs are part of your insurance claim. Insurance companies have varied requirements that you want to submit to pay for your damages. The insurance companies can request you to bring photographs of the external side of the car.
If you are a member of a travel association which offers to tow, let the transport take your vehicle to the nearby body shop. Let the mechanics in the body shop know not to perform any work on your vehicle until you clear it with the insurance company. Even if your car is safe, you want to transport it to a mechanic for assessment.
Do Not Admit Liability
Even if you are sure you are at fault, you want to keep it to yourself. Don't lie; you want to be quiet and save the conversation for your lawyer. Even if you are responsible, other factors can limit your liability.
The law enforcement officers will try their level best to reconstruct the accident. They will ask you and the witnesses for a statement, but you don't have to admit fault. Again, lying will damage your credibility, so you don't have to lie. You better remain silent than saying statements that may be shown to be untrue.
Avoid Posting to Social Media
A truck accident is always more severe than a car accident, especially in fatalities or road closures. It could be newsworthy. Sometimes, you might see articles from the local news stations documenting the accident. When you see the articles and photos, you must not comment. Again, you don't want to post anything to your social media platforms that indicate your physical, emotional, or how the accident occurred. Even if you post to let your friends and relatives know how you are doing, social media platforms lead to legal issues later.
A seemingly innocuous post can hurt your lawsuit in court. After the accident, you want to call your close friends and family offline and share the information. Remember all the information you post online will appear in the court. People might keep screenshots even when you delete the information from the platforms. Other people can appear in court as witnesses to report what they saw on social media. Therefore you want to be discreet online if you know you might appear in court.
Manage Your Pain
You might experience a lot of pain for several days or even months after the accident. Pain can make you feel hopeless, less motivated, angry, and frustrated to participate in physical therapy. It is recommended you seek a way to manage your pain during the recovery process. Pain management might include:
- Taking over-the-counter medication.
- Resting during the daytime.
- Using cold or hot compresses.
Messages might also help if you have sore tendons, ligaments, and muscles. When you experience uncontrollable pain disrupting your sleep, talk to your doctor. The doctor will decide to prescribe more potent pain killers.
File a Claim
When injured in a big rig tire blowout, the last step you want is to file a claim to receive compensation for the injuries and damages sustained. Filing a claim might be a complicated process, especially when you try to work alone. According to the law, you are entitled to compensation after sustaining damages and injuries in a tire blowout-related accident. You might hold the at-fault parties responsible for your injuries and damages.
These parties might include the truck driver, tire manufacturer, and truck company. You require the services of a well-trained accident attorney for you to obtain the compensation you deserve. The attorney will help in negotiating your settlement. When you cannot settle the case, your attorney may take the case until the trial.
Contact a Commercial Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
A tire blowout might be a frightening experience leaving you or your loved ones with high medical bills or nursing severe injuries. Sometimes you might wonder what to do next, especially when this is your first experience. Do not face the damages or injuries alone. Hire a personal attorney to provide the legal help you deserve.
At Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm, we are here for you. We will speak with you about the details of your case and provide the legal advice you deserve. Do not hesitate to call if you sustain injuries and damages in a California big rig tire blowout. Contact us at 619-754-7667, and speak with our capable attorneys.